AVA/OVW Conference Call – October 2013

Summary of

Conference Call Meeting between AVA & OVW

Date:  Monday, October 7, 2013


FY 2013 Awards: 

AVA asked about the FY 2013 awards and whether all states/territories had received their awards.  Additionally, we asked about the status of uploads into GMS. We learned that all STOP and SASP awards were sent out by September 26; however, if there has been a change in an agency’s authorized representative, a GAN would need to be issued so the new person can access the system.  OVW suggested that states may need to check their junk mail folder if they haven’t received notification of their award.

OVW explained that “awards made” means that notifications were sent out; the award is not logged into GMS until the award is accepted.  However, with the government shutdown, this is not currently happening.  GMS will be reopened once there is a resolution in DC.  The awards will also then show up in payment system, although there may be some minor delays in this final step.

FY 2014 application:

AVA suggested to OVW that it would be helpful to get a firm due date on the FY 2014 application since the implementation plan is due at the same time and most states are currently involved in some level of the planning process.  OVW offered a tentative timeline of:

February 6, 2014 – STOP solicitation to be released

March 20 – Due date for applications and implementation plans

The traditional application period was extended to allow additional time since the Implementation Plan is due at the same time.  AVA asked if there would be any provision for extensions since this is the first year in which both the Plan and Application will be due simultaneously.  OVW indicated they are willing to work with administrators if their plans are not complete.  Since this is formula program, they can be somewhat flexible (within reason).  OVW is limited on the time they have to review and approve plans.  Their goal is that states will have 100% access to funds more quickly.  If a program manager has asked for revisions to the plan, OVW can still issue a GAN, only releasing 10% until the plan is approved.

AVA also asked if there was the possibility that a consistent date could be established for all future applications/implementation plans so administrators could have a target date for their planning process.  Michelle discussed that they have multiple challenges in running 6 programs so it would be extremely difficult to establish a consistent date for STOP.  She said that many things drive the award scheduling.

AVA stressed that a due date this year of March 20th (and the target date for the conference of late February) would once again put administrators attending the annual conference in conflict with their needing to complete the drafting of their applications and implementation plans while simultaneously preparing their annual reports and ensuring all their subgrantees’ reports were in.  This places an incredible burden on administrators.  OVW indicated their timelines are pretty much set.

Annual Administrator’s Meeting:

OVW discussed that they are currently planning the annual conference for the end of February in Jacksonville, Florida.  It will be a joint conference with administrators and coalition directors.  They are working to keep the costs down but are justifying conference expenses based on the need to provide training on all the changes under VAWA 2013.  They also plan on restructuring the mandates for the meeting to help with costs by limiting attendance to 1 person per state from each STOP administering agency.  There will be no “new administrator” day – this will be covered via webinars in the weeks prior to the conference.  The coalition attendees will be limited to one from the DV Coalition and one from the SA Coalition.  If the state has a dual coalition, they can only send 1 person.

The conference is currently anticipated to run 1.5 days – all day Tuesday and half of Wednesday.  They are undecided on whether they will be having a separate territories meeting.

AVA discussed the need for a draft agenda so administrators can obtain travel approvals.  AVA described that some states now need 8-10 weeks for travel approvals.  Michelle responded that they can most likely issue a letter outlining the time frames of the meeting but an agenda would take longer.


AVA asked if there were any new developments on this issue that might impact STOP awards.  OVW acknowledged that they had pulled down their FAQ’s from their website. Michelle indicated there were no new developments on PREA. She did say that some discussions were occurring between OVW, OJJDP and BJA but nothing significant has resulted that they could reveal at this time.

Preventing DV homicide:

AVA asked about VAWA 2013 wherein it discusses that states must outline their efforts in regard to preventing DV homicide.  The statute doesn’t seem to require that states/territories must spend STOP dollars toward this effort but this question had arisen.  Michelle acknowledged that Marnie is working on this question and they don’t yet have an answer.

Reminders from OVW:

Michelle reiterated that while FY 2013 should have been the year for a new implementation plan, OVW waived this requirement because a new plan was also required in FY 2014.  In lieu of a full plan for FY 2013, states were to provide a letter discussing any changes that may have been adopted into their plans and provide census data.  Some states haven’t submitted letters for FY 2013 or are lacking their census data. OVW will only release 10% of the funds until the information is received.  Michelle discussed that some states still don’t have access to FY 2012 monies because of this same issue. She stressed that states should read the special conditions thoroughly.

Other information:

The Implementation Planning Toolkit is still being developed.  In the meantime, folks should use the checklist as the guide since OVW will use that for review purposes (please contact AVA is you need another copy); once completed, the toolkit will not need OMB approval since it is simply a guide.

Definition of health care providers and how broadly this will be interpreted – although AVA initially asked about this in May 2013, no update is available at this time.

Administrator’s manual – Michelle indicates the draft is still undergoing revisions but is looking good.  Once approved within OVW, it will need to go through the formal approval process.  The manual will provide linkage to the financial guide and other existing docs, including the FAQs.  That way the manual is updated via updates and changes to those other documents.

AVA brings topics of discussion to OVW each month based on questions that have arisen from STOP administrators.  If you have specific topics that you would like us to include in our monthly discussions with OVW, please contact Dorene Whitworth at Dorene.whitworth@yahoo.com. Thank you!